Home. There’s A Wind Blowing…

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I came back home this weekend.

It doesn’t feel like home anymore.

But it reminds me of home…

…the place where memories rest in eager anticipation of my recollection.

And now I recall…all the memories this place has brought…and the nostalgia of Fall linking me to my past…linking me to any place I’ve ever called home.

There’s a wind blowing…

Crisp air that smells of crackling dry leaves. It’s Fall in North Carolina and the hues of red and orange and yellow blend in with the brown and green leaves still turning. I love the way God paints the trees in the Fall. It’s like a glimmering mosaic of different kinds of beauty. And the brown reminds me of the gift of a new season. What joy it brings.

There’s a wind blowing…

This time it’s red dirt and tumble weeds dancing upward into the sky. It’s the desert. And the smell of fresh earth is like wet clay when it rains. I love the smell.

It reminds me of monsoon season living in Prescott Valley, Arizona…when rain pours and pours as God cleanses the air of desert and dust. It pours like the tears of a weeping widow mourning the loss of her husband …like a woman in labor…like a child alone. It pours and pours. And the lightening joins the thunder in a cacauphony of wretched sounds.

The power used to go out at the house. We’d get the lantern we used for camping and candles to make some light. I’d wait for the power to come back on but it never would. Usually not till morning. So I’d drift to sleep and the next day would arrive with sunshine and desert warmth. I was around 11 years old and my brothers and I and our neighborhood friends would ride our scooters to the bottom of the road to the wash…where all the water accumulated…and we’d play in it like we had discovered Disneyland. Muddy and wet from kicking up water on our scooters. How simple the delights of a child.

There’s a wind blowing…

Snow is coming as the Christmas lights hang brightly on my Mema and Papa’s porch in Marion, North Carolina. Pink clouds drape the night sky as the moon nestles itself behind its veil. I can smell the moisture in the air coming in with the cold wind. It’s like fresh linens and pine. And the trees all sway with anticipation.

It’s Christmas Eve and all of our family is together in Mema and Papa’s living room. The kitchen still covered in flour and sugar and cinnamon from baking. I love baking. Later in the evening it’s time to go to sleep. But my brothers, my cousins Holly and Faith, and I are still wide eyed and too excited about seeing Santa. We can’t sleep. All tucked in with 5 of us in the living room, air mattresses squooshed together, we scheme to sneak off into the kitchen. The lights are off and it’s hard to see. Still we make our way to the door to Mema’s room, the only way to the kitchen.

And we crawl on the carpeted floor to the kitchen laughing and giggling as if we are spies on a mission. The danger is alluring to a 9 year old. We warm up the leftovers and then sneak outside to the road in front of the house. Down in the holler not many cars go by at night. And we talk and eat and laugh and sit under the barely showing stars. Cold but brave in the wake of our adventure. We think we’re invincible. Everyone in the house sound asleep. And the holler is quiet waiting for Christmas morning.

There’s a wind blowing…

A memory still in my head. The days I used to watch my brother’s practice football in Prescott, Arizona and my dad coaching. Shelbee was always my faithful canine accomplice. And everyone loved her when I first started to take her as a puppy. “Oh puppy breath!” they all would say leaning in to pet her, melting at the look on her cute little face. I’d be holding her wrapped up in a blanket. I’m around 13 or 14 years old. Cold and fridged to the bone. Wind blowing…cold air numbing my ears as I watch the team run routes and do Alabama drills.

Then practice would be over and before long I would be warm in Dad’s red truck. I remember he would turn on the heater and I’d put my frozen hands into the air vents waiting for the hot air to come out. I was so cold! Even then I can see evidence of my still impatient impulses. That air vent was a life saver to me. Oh how I thank God for that air vent! Everything was better when I was warm inside Dad’s truck and we rode home.

And ironically those memories make me love the cold so much.

I go back to that place in my mind every time I feel cold weather… the place where I watched my brother’s practice on cold fall nights…the place where I sat wrapped up in blankets with my dog Shelbee…the place where I ran to hot air vents…the place where the cold was always worth it. I wouldn’t trade those memories for anything.

These memories remind me of home.

From North Carolina to Arizona. From desert dust to fall leaves.

From moments of angst to moments of joy.

Home.

Not one place.

But a place that triggers memories.

A place I go to in my mind.

Uniting many histories and experiences.

Constantly evolving.

A place that will be made real when I see Jesus.

Home. 

“Through All of It” by Colton Dixon

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